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Your experience with coffee as a singer

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colin040
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You know, this is something I've got curious about lately! Coffee is without a doubt one of the most (perhaps the most) consumed drink in the world. How do you guys handle it as a singer? Good experience? Rather avoid? Only in moderation? A big no for you?

Personally I've been only having 1 cup of a coffee during the weekend lately. It makes me feel more energetic when vocalising sometimes, but can also make me rush through certain exercises instead of taking the time for everything to happen naturally. I never liked to drink much coffee, though, and I guess that's one big advantage when it comes to being a singer. 1 small cup a day max was my rule but now I'll stick to weekends only so I'll sleep easier on schooldays.

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I love my coffee!:D I don't like tea - too much tannin for me. So I drink several cups of coffee every day. But on days when I have a gig I stop the coffee a few hours before and switch to water. This is to reduce the milk and the resultant phlegm and the relaxing effect of the caffien. The water then builds up my fluid levels and keeps me hydrated (coffee tends to dehydrate). I drink my home made ginger ber and perhaps a beer or two during then gig. As soon as the gig is over I want my coffee - normally before I go sleep to help me unwind after a gig.

As for giving up or reducing my coffe intake - forget it, I ain't doing it.

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As soon as the gig is over I want my coffee - normally before I go sleep to help me unwind after a gig

:o i could see relaxing with a cup of coffee but how could you go to sleep after lol. but yea i love coffee, prob not as much as you though.

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I drink 3 cups before I leave the house. Another 2 or 3 cups at work. And Diet Coke, which has caffeine in it.

Part of the reason I drink that much coffee, aside from liking the flavor of it, is that getting up at 4 am is not actually naturally for me. It is a shear act of will, aided by caffeine. But it pays better than not getting up that early.

I don't know if it has made my voice bad or good. And I have been drinking coffee for decades.

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from my looking it up in google, the problem with coffee is it dehydrates you which means you lose some of the lubrication water gives you for singing. im guessing a cup of coffee wont hurt, but if you drink a lot it's probably also important to drink a lot of water too.

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I drink 2 cups of coffee twice a day, never had a problem with it in regard to singing. Heck, my voice teacher and I will usually take a coffee break in the middle of a lesson and jump back in without a problem. Same goes for other things too; like milk, nuts, alcohol, hot sauce, chocolate, etc... From everything I've ever read, none of these things you eat/drink go anywhere near your vocal folds.

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I don't have any issues with caffeine, even though it can really dry you out in really high doses (for me about 500-1000mg is a high dose - with about 200mg being 8 ounces of coffee or an espresso shot) I think a moderate amount is perfectly fine if it suits your voice. A lot of singers drink massive amounts of coffee and a lot of water too. James Labrie and David Coverdale are known to drink lots of coffee. I don't like using food, smoke or drugs as an excuse and they are not necessarily bad. I do not need a list of singers who did them and it didn't seem to make the vocals suffer, but their state of mind would not have made those tracks what they are. Rush obviously had no issues with smoking pot and cigarettes on the road and Geddy, though known for some rough performances over the years live, has always sounded good.

I'm saying it is the mind of the performer that is more critical than the effects anything has on the voice, including caffeine. Singing itself is far more damaging and stressful on the vocal chords than any of that stuff could be, if smoking a joint lowered your voice and you strained and had a much harder time, that obviously isn't what I'm talking about. I think a good singer can work around any physical shortcoming or temporary "issues" and tons of singers have made careers out of misusing their voices in pleasant ways. Peter Cetera anyone?

If you want to warm up the throat and voice, onions and garlic are brilliant at that, and don't forget to make the throat a nice alkaline environment for your voice. Coffee is highly acid, so always add a pinch of baking soda to balance the PH. I buy Illy Espresso and they already add the baking soda. It makes coffee lot smoother anyway.

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Up until a little over a year ago I used to drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day plus easily a 2 liter bottle of diet pepsi.

As part of fixing my health I decided to quit caffeine, I knew it wouldn't be fun, but I couldn't believe how difficult it was. Right up there with quitting smoking for the first week or so, it drove me completely insane. Quitting smoking though I found overall harder as the cravings lasted around 3 weeks versus the 7-10 days of caffeine.

My new rule of thumb is this: if there's anything that I consume regularly and then I don't have if for a little while and find that I'm going through what feels like cravings and withdrawal symptoms, then that thing can't be good for me so I quit it completely. It also happened with sweets and wheat products.

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I love coffee. I've never had issues with coffee and singing. If I had to sing in the morning I would make sure to drink coffee first thing. Actually, I make sure to drink coffee first thing as a rule regardless of singing.:P

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I think the whole "don't do caffeine" deal is overblown personally.

LOL! Im pleased to see that everyone seems to blow holes in the whole "don't drink coffee" idea... I totally agree Billy... I drink about 60 ounces a day, being that Im in Seattle and my studio is across from the best coffee shop in town... apart from my coffee addiction... I have to honestly say, I have not experienced any problems with my singing as a result of drinking coffee that I am aware of!

If anything, I would say that coffee is wet and warm and that is good for your singing. So is the mild stimulation you get from it... The coffee myth is another one of these over blown, popular ideas that teachers and singers throw around without really substantiating it with serious discussion like this or personal experience. It comes from the same sources that don't hesitate to blab the popular "distortion hurts your voice" and "baritones can't sing high notes" myth.

Its just regurgitation from lemmings that repeat what was told to them..., but people that question and experience things for real, know better. Drink coffee and enjoy it! Also, get the new Starbucks app... its great.

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I liked what Phil said about caffeine masking fatigue. That is one of the benefits I look for. And I don't make coffee very strong, either. But I used to work with a supervisor who made it so strong, I likened it to liquid crack. I learned not to drink a cup if he made it. I didn't need jitters and heart palpitations that bad.

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I'm gonna come off as a condescending preachy prick but whatever:

All of you coffee addicts don't know what the feeling of being A-L-E-R-T and truly A-W-A-K-E is like anymore.

Those who are addicted to coffee are stuck in a never ending cycle where you're feeling tired cause your body craves the caffeine, so you feed the addiction and voila you feel alert until the next time your body craves.

That feeling of "Oh, I'm feeling tired and it's only 3pm, poor me, I better drink some coffee" is your body craving caffeine, it's no different than nicotine, drugs, pills or anything else we silly humans become addicted to by choice!

Once I weaned myself off the caffeine (and fixed my diet) I was shocked to find that you can actually get through an entire day caffeine free, with no energy drops at all, as long if you give yourself 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. And to those who make excuses on why they can't "afford" to sleep 6-8 hours...well... enjoy your next cup of coffee!

....Off the soapbox.

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I'm gonna come off as a condescending preachy prick but whatever:

All of you coffee addicts don't know what the feeling of being A-L-E-R-T and truly A-W-A-K-E is like anymore.

Those who are addicted to coffee are stuck in a never ending cycle where you're feeling tired cause your body craves the caffeine, so you feed the addiction and voila you feel alert until the next time your body craves.

That feeling of "Oh, I'm feeling tired and it's only 3pm, poor me, I better drink some coffee" is your body craving caffeine, it's no different than nicotine, drugs, pills or anything else we silly humans become addicted to by choice!

I agree with this. I went without coffee for 2-3 weeks several times last year and except during summer time, it was actually harder than I imagined, yet I would never understand how some people tend to drink 5 cups a day of coffee (if not more) a day. And yes, if you crave for the coffee the entire day to stay fit, you're not fixing tiredness. You're hiding from it.

I went from 1 cup of coffee each 2-3 days to 1-2 cups a week without a problem now. No headaches, no irritations and it's nice to through a day without sweating easier and pissing even more than I already do. :)

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In my 60 years of existence I have been throught the "don't eat this - eat this" cycle many times. Eggs, wine, coffee, red meat, etc., etc. The truth is that our bodies are complex and understanding one small aspect in isolation leads to issues in another area. For me, I choose to partake of all things in moderation and get as close to natural as possible. It has worked for me and I have not been to a doctor for any condition for going on 20 years now - not even a headache!

So to me, coffee has advantages and disadvantages. Taken in moderation and with limited sugar and milk is beneficial to get the antioxidents. But I also use 100% coffee and even grind my own beens for filter/esspresso, brown sugar and full fat milk.

I am well aware that stopping coffee intake causes withdrawal headaches so know that there is a dependancy issue. But is a whole lot better for you than drinking soda (even the diet variety) that are full of caffien, sugar, artificial sweetners, preservatives, flavourants and colourants (all thoss E??? thing)

I am not however dependant and constantly craving coffee and vary my drinks during the day including water, beer, wine, etc.

For me it works! If it don't work for you then that's also OK.

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For much of my adult life I was not coffee-dependent. I was also a shiftless slacker for a lot of that time! :lol:

Then I got a job driving a truck, and coffee became part of the routine. I preferred it black (so I didn't have to wash my travel mug) and in fairly constant supply. But it was the convenience store variety, so not usually super-strong.

Then I was a stay-at-home dad for 3 years, and coffee definitely helped me avoid "hitting the wall" before the kid did! Then it was fresh-ground with cream and sugar 2-3 times a day.

Now I have a job that gets me up at 4:15 every morning, and the coffee habit has remained, but generally it's just one 13oz cup in the morning, and sometimes one after dinner if I'm out late. Or if I'm playing a gig, I'll sometimes have one early on to counteract the drowsiness I might feel from a) being up past my usual bedtime, and B) any alcohol I might consume.

I have a French press at home, and I can make it smooth and strong. Strong enough that I have to watch what I scoop or I get the jitters for hours afterward. I switched from full-city to French roast, because it seems I can get a higher flavor:jitter ratio with the darker roast.

I'm aware that overdoing stimulants can burn out your adrenals and make it harder to draw from my natural reserves. Another thing to be aware of for those of us that have reflux issues is that coffee is not a great thing for that. I've been considering cutting back even more for those reasons.

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I quit drinking coffee before I started singing. Coincidentally. I had a quick coffee phase in middle school, at it's peak it was something like 2 cups a day. But even that was not doing good things for me.

My experience with coffee and caffeine in general, as a person, is that it's like any drug. If you take it regularly you build up a tolerance and then you need more to get your fix. So gradually the more you consume it regularly the more the positive benefits are shaved off and you have to waste more coffee trying to get to your normal state and meanwhile the side effects increase.

Whereas if you don't drink caffiene on a regular basis, your normal state feels normal again and the occasional cup of coffee will make you super alert.

Which do you prefer...the answer should be obvious.

I can't speak much about the effects of caffeine on singing though. Caffeinated tea has sometimes seemed to dry me out but I can't be 100% sure about that.

Right now for me as a singer, warm water is my beverage of choice.

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if you keep coffee to a minimum, like just drinking a medium sized cup right when you wake up, i dont think you'll crash and lose the benefits of increased energy as opposed to drinking multiple cups throughout the day which greatly increases your tolerance. i drink it mostly for the taste though, not to mention it's healthy for you.

also, why warm water as opposed to cold for singing?

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